War­rant: Man re­turned to hot SUV with son in­side

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

MA­RI­ETTA, Ga. (AP) — The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a tod­dler’s death in a hot SUV in Ge­or­gia hinges on a key ques­tion: Was the boy the vic­tim of a hor­rific ac­ci­dent af­ter his fa­ther sim­ply for­got to take him to day care, or did the man know the child was in­side when he left him strapped in for seven hours?

A newly filed ar­rest war­rant sup­port­ing the mur­der charge against 33-year-old Justin Ross Har­ris states that he stopped with his son for break­fast and also re­turned to put some­thing in­side his ve­hi­cle around lunchtime while the child was in­side it.

Har­ris has told po­lice he was sup­posed to drive his 22-month-old son to day­care but drove straight to work on June 18 with­out re­mem­ber­ing the boy was strapped in his seat. Af­ter spend­ing the day at work, he pulled into a shop­ping cen­ter park­ing lot on the ride home and hys­ter­i­cally asked for help for his son.

Har­ris was be­ing held with­out bond Wed­nes­day. Jail records didn’t list an at­tor­ney for him.

Cobb County Po­lice Chief John Houser said Wed­nes­day that he un­der­stands tragic ac­ci­dents hap­pen, but ev­i­dence in­di­cates a “more se­ri­ous crime” has been com­mit­ted. He didn’t elab­o­rate on what the ev­i­dence was.

“The chain of events that oc­curred in this case do not point to­ward sim­ple neg­li­gence and ev­i­dence will be pre­sented to sup­port this al­le­ga­tion,” Houser said in a mes­sage re­leased by the depart­ment.

The Cobb County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice said Wed­nes­day that tox­i­col­ogy re­sults are still pend­ing but that it be­lieves the cause of death was hy­per­ther­mia and the man­ner of death was homi­cide. Hy­per­ther­mia is a con­di­tion in which the tem­per­a­ture of the body spikes due to the heat.

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